The Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA) is a civil rights bill that bans discrimination against people with disabilities. Under the ADA, transit agencies operating a fixed-route system must provide a comparable travel system for people with disabilities who cannot use the fixed-route system.
What is Paratransit Service?
Paratransit is the transportation service of Athens Public Transit (APT) for persons with a functional disability who are unable to use APT fixed route service for some or all of their trips due to the effects of their disability. Paratransit is a “Shared-Ride” service that operates at the same times and in the same areas as the fixed-route system. APT paratransit operates in full compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act. Eligibility is not based solely on a diagnosis or type of disability.
Individuals are eligible based on 3 categories:
- 1. Inability to navigate the system independently. Any person who is unable to board, ride, or exit any accessible APT fixed-route bus without the assistance of another person, other than the operator, as a result of a physical, visual, or mental disability.
- 2. Lack of accessible vehicles, stations, or bus stops. If accessible vehicles are not available or if a boarding or alighting location is not accessible on the routes that the customer wishes to travel on.
- 3. Inability to reach a boarding point or final destination. Any person with a functional disability who has a specific impairment related condition that makes it impossible for them to travel, all or some of the time, to an APT fixed-route bus stop.
The Paratransit service area is up to 3⁄4 mile direct distance (“as the crow flies”) on either side of an existing fixed bus line. Service is available on the same days and times as fixed-route service of the requested line. If you have a disability that prevents you from using the regular fixed- route service, you may be eligible for Paratransit.
If you are eligible, paratransit service will be provided to you using one of two methods: a set of to-the-door deviations by fixed-route vehicles or a pickup/drop-off in separate vehicles. These two methods of paratransit service delivery are considered interchangeable, and APT will determine what method will be used on a trip-by-trip basis, without regard to customer preference. ADA Paratransit service is considered a premium service and agencies by law can charge a fare that is double the standard fixed-route fare. The current one-way fare is $0.50, which is subject to change.
To check initially whether your trip origin and destination fall within APT’s paratransit service area, you can use Google Maps address search with the overlay of APT’s paratransit service area. http://bit.ly/1XStkGY
APT’s paratransit application form must be filled out by the applicant or advocate, and by a medical professional. Download it here: Application for ADA Paratransit Eligibility 2016-07-01
A copy of APT’s full paratransit plan is available here: Athens ADA Paratransit Plan 2016-07-01